Has your post been disrupted in lockdown?
PUBLISHED: 07:30 14 May 2020 | UPDATED: 22:44 14 May 2020
Bank cards, hospital letters and birthday cards could be arriving later than planned across Suffolk and north Essex, as Royal Mail said some people may see a “reduction in service” due to staff shortages.
The national postal service had to make sweeping changes to its operations at the start of lockdown, with staff numbers reduced and new safety measures in place for postal workers.
But the impact is also being felt by those waiting on important letters, such as those in the Highwoods area of Colchester, who reported that bank cards, birthday cards and doctor’s notes have all been delayed.
One resident, David Carley, said he had to wait more than a week for a letter from Colchester Hospital.
Mr Carley said: “Since the coronavirus pandemic started, our post has been on the decline.
“Before it started, we use to receive our mail pretty much on a daily basis. Now, we are lucky enough to receive mail once or twice a week if we’re lucky.
“I am currently under the mental health team at Colchester Hospital and have to rely on the post for follow up appointments and from various other people.
“I had a letter come in the post May 12 and the mental health team had sent it over a week ago.
“If I had not received that letter, I would have been discharged and had to have gone back to my GP to get referred again and to get a mental health appointment can take weeks.”
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We are working hard to deliver the most comprehensive service we can to all our customers in challenging circumstances.
“Despite our best endeavours, it is possible that some areas of the country may experience a reduction in service levels due to coronavirus-related absences at their local mail centre or delivery office.
“If customers have concerns about their mail, they should contact our customer service team.”
Mr Carley added: “Myself and my family are scared to send each other anything in the post, because we are worried the other will not get it.
“But I do give Royal Mail my full support for trying their best throughout this difficult time.”
Several people in Colchester were sympathetic to Royal Mail’s troubles.
Another Highwoods resident, Cassie Page, added: “In fairness, I don’t mind when my post comes. But Royal Mail are doing there best to get post out when they can.
“I for one grateful for what they are doing when they can do it.”
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